For much of 2020, it wasn’t exactly a hard year to be a cheerleader for cryptocurrency.
Emerging from a brutal macro bear market, the space once again proved doubters wrong and attracted a new batch of converts as money-printing efforts across the globe turned savers and traders onto the power of hard currency. After a coronavirus-related dip, prices have surged across the board, new verticals like decentralized finance are in a state of parabolic growth, and even institutions are finally getting in on the fun.
Yet, in a year where portfolio values have risen and longtime proponents got to take a well-deserved victory lap, there are a few voices and names that stand out for their devotion and fervor.
As 2020 comes to a close, here are a few of those proponents we’re thankful for:
As the red-hot DeFi summer came to an end, Canadian YouTuber and amateur meteorologist Frankie MacDonald caught the attention of crypto Twitter for his earnest, impassioned takes on Bitcoin (BTC).
MacDonald, who has been producing homemade content since 2009 and has amassed nearly 125,000 Twitter followers, has been offering periodic updates on Bitcoin price action throughout the year, and in a video titled “My Advice About the Bitcoin,” he definitively declared that “Bitcoin is worth more than American dollars.”
One particular clip in Frankie’s considerable 2020 cheerleading oeuvre stands out, however. On the evening of Aug. 7, on the side of a lonely Nova Scotian highway under a setting sun, MacDonald proclaimed into the growing great northern darkness a wish, a rite, a blessing:
Here is Me Saying Bitcoin Once Again pic.twitter.com/724b0kYOSz— Frankie MacDonald (@frankiemacd) August 8, 2020
It rings with justice. It brings a tear to the eye. It animates in every hodler’s soul a gallant zeal like the hymn of a long-forgotten motherland.
MacDonald posted the “Here is Me Saying Bitcoin Once Again” video on Aug. 7. Since then, Bitcoin has soared over 60% — taking flight as if borne on the wings of Nike herself.
The rich folk
The rich folk! You know the ones. They’re rich, and their cheering on Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies might help them get even richer, so they waved the pom-poms all year with vigor.
One bearded rich guy bought nearly 5,000 Bitcoin while calling the digital currency “an instrument of economic empowerment.” A different, but also grizzled rich guy bought up a bunch of BTC on what seemed like a monthly basis until finally cracking the billion-dollar mark, making sure to tweet on the daily while he was at it. Earlier this month, a bald, famously spirited rich guy bought some Bitcoin and disturbingly proclaimed, “I’ll grow bigger, and bigger, and bigger.”
Most notably in rich-folk news, one of the first rich guys to dip their toes into digital currencies ran a major ad campaign promoting his digital asset investment vehicles. While he ended up soliciting a bunch of new investors, most of crypto Twitter didn’t seem to like it.
So many rich folk were buying Bitcoin, in fact, that it became impractical to report on rich folk buying Bitcoin unless associated with some other newsworthy event.
An observer can’t be faulted for having difficulty telling these rich folk apart. In the case of Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, it’s near impossible on account of them being identical twins, and their cheeky social media handles might well be managed by the same intern:
In the midst of winter, #Bitcoin found within itself an invincible summer— Tyler Winklevoss (@tyler) December 12, 2020
#Bitcoin quietly tiptoeing above $19K. No big deal. Nothing to see here.— Cameron Winklevoss (@cameron) December 13, 2020
Snark aside, many of the names mentioned above are responsible for building foundational tools and gateways to provide other investors access to cryptocurrency. Because of these rich folk, more than one more humble investor might find their way to financial freedom.
In a year where the rich guys seemed to be locked in a race to see whose institution can hoover up the largest sums of Bitcoin, a Canadian restaurant chain serving up Middle Eastern fare threw its hat into the ring by converting all of its cash reserves into Bitcoin.
On Aug. 18, the official Twitter for Tahini’s — a restaurant chain operating four corporate locations and three franchised locations in Ontario — made the big reveal accompanied by a long, thoughtful Twitter thread explaining the move:
As a small company that started in London Ontario Canada we operate 4 corporate locations and 3 Franshise locations about to open up in Ontario. We just converted our entire cash reserves that were originally used as savings into #Bitcoin— Tahinis Restaurants (@TheRealTahinis) August 18, 2020
Time for thread
The justifications seemed to be straight from the Bitcoin maximalist handbook: Cash is a depreciating asset, while Bitcoin is not; cash reserves are less attractive in an inflationary environment; the fiat world is a “game of musical chairs” and eventually “the music will stop and some people will get left out.” The thread was also surprisingly intimate at times, describing the “come to Bitcoin” journey as one of gradual enlightenment.
The restaurant chain also stands out not just for the bravery and transparency of making the conversion, but also for the intellectual seriousness and resolve with which it converted.
In a follow-up thread, the chain laid out the history of gold while making a case for Bitcoin’s superiority. Recent tweets also show Bitcoin meetups at franchise locations as well as the chain engaging in the time-honored crypto Twitter tradition of dunking on Nouriel Roubini:
It seems like @Nouriel loves being wrong for a decade. Enough is enough Professor https://t.co/4DcyZp0iqZ— Tahinis Restaurants (@TheRealTahinis) December 11, 2020
We look forward to seeing what else Tahini’s cooks up in the new year.
Senator Cynthia Lummis
Proponents for Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies come from all walks of life, but rarely has there been a vocal champion for the digital currency at the highest levels of government.
Following the recent election cycle, however, that appears to have changed. Incoming Senator Cynthia Lummis holds the distinction of being the first woman elected to the office from Wyoming, as well as being one of the first willing to fully endorse Bitcoin as a store of value.
In an interview with ABC News earlier in the year, the former state treasurer wasn’t shy about her support:
“I’m a former state treasurer and I invested our state’s permanent funds, so I was always looking for a good store of value, and Bitcoin fits that bill. Our own currency inflates; Bitcoin does not. It’s 21 million Bitcoin will be mined, and that’s it, it is a finite supply. So I have confidence that this will be an important player in store of value for a long time to come.”
Lummis’ support isn’t just a token oddity, either. As 2021 looms, it’s becoming increasingly important for politicians to have an understanding of the function and potential of cryptocurrencies if they’re going to enact regulation allowing the space to continue its growth.
Institute for Memetic Research and Development
Memes can accomplish many things: create laughter; galvanize a population; construct and spread a community’s values. The absolute best, however, infect the psyche of everyone who sees them with some core kernel of truth — a distilled drop of an epoch, a fully reified and self-contained historical monad. Five-dollar words aside, they’re also supposed to be funny.
That’s exactly what the folks at the Institute for Memetic Research and Development have done with their website brrr.money.
Holy shit who did this?— Ramp Capital (@RampCapitalLLC) March 20, 2020
Sound on for extra effect.
Try it for yourself https://t.co/k4MLHT81Nz pic.twitter.com/eeRywv0yDv
We thank the geniuses at the institute for their contributions this year, and look forward to more of their work.